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I know a soup recipe might not be exactly what you guys are looking to make, especially my readers in California who have recently experienced the sudden heat wave. But Chris’ mom made the most delicious lentil-tomato soup while I was staying at his house the past few weeks. Even though this soup takes a long time to cook, the ingredients are simple and you don’t have to pay full attention to it as it simmers. This allows me to work on other projects and homework while it cooks!  

The recipe comes from my new favorite cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas. I love this book because the recipes are different from other cookbooks in that they are easy to make, require few ingredients, and usually don’t take much time. The Vegetarian Epicure has helped me expand my vegetarian meal repertoire, and during the current coronavirus pandemic, I am able to cook meals that will last for a few days.

One note about the recipe: I wasn’t able to find all of the ingredients at the grocery store when I did my bulk shop, so I had to improvise when needed. I’m still going to tell you the original recipe because it’s really delicious and should be made the way it’s supposed to be (if that’s possible for you) but will also tell you the substitutes I made! 


  • ⅔ cup dried lentils 

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 onion (chopped)

  • 4 carrots (chopped)

  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)

  • 1 cup tomato paste

  • Chopped parsley 

  • Garlic 

  • Salt and pepper 

  • Thyme

  • Dill weed 

  • Tarragon

  • Dry white wine (optional)

Time to cook!

Put the lentils, water, onion, carrots, and celery into a large pot and gently simmer for about 3 hours. I didn’t have celery so I added extra chopped carrots and a can of chopped tomatoes. As it simmers, add more water if needed. You can add some white wine if you want, but I didn’t.

Once it’s done simmering, add the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, thyme, dill weed, and tarragon as wanted. Again, I didn’t have all of these ingredients, so instead, I used parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper, thyme, and oregano.  

The original recipe instructs you to stir in the cup of tomato paste and let it all heat through. Since I added the can of chopped tomatoes, I added only a ¼ of the tomato paste so it didn’t taste too “tomato-y.” This recipe creates 6 servings which can last a long time for just one person!

And there you have it! Your soup is finished and should be very tasty. Even though the soup takes 3 hours to simmer, I suggest cooking it when it’s not so hot. On top of the heat from outside, cooking soup in the middle of the day made my apartment very hot and made me think I was being cooked as well. I recommend cooking it in the evening, so you can have a slightly late dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day and even the following week! I hope you all enjoy it and find that it’s not too hard to make.

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